The Colony of Itamar … Source of Agony and Suffering for Nearby Palestinians

The Colony of Itamar … Source of Agony and Suffering for Nearby Palestinians
Agony, suffering and terrorism has become synonymous with the colony of Itamar ever since it was established in 1984 on the hills overlooking the villages of Awerta and Aqraba; In 1984, extremist students at the “Yaeir Religious Institute” in Jerusalem transferred the outpost they have established earlier in the valley of the village of Rojeib to Bilal Mountain in the village of Deir Al Hatab. The newly-established outpost was named “Hayeim Hill” as an indication of the “resumption of the Jewish life” in the location colonists consider holy as they believe it is the burial place of “Eliazar Itamar Bin Has” and the 70 Elders in accordance with the Jewish theology.

 Ever since then, the outpost went through a massive expansion as it was re-named as the colony of Itamar. The colony devoured hundreds of agricultural dunums in the areas of Al Arma, Shi’eb Al Ward, Kitf Abu Aza, Karma and Al Sifh Al Shamali. Currently, there are more than 2500 dunums that surround the colony to which Palestinian access is forbidden under any circumstances. These lands belong to tens of Palestinian families from the villages and towns of Awerta, Beit Furik, Al Yanoun and
In the past few years Israeli occupation forces have issued a number of military orders to confiscate lands in the villages of Awerta and Aqraba for the purpose of establishing military towers overlooking the colony. Other military orders declared hundreds of dunums as ‘Closed Military Areas” while tens of dunums in the vicinity of the colony were confiscated to establish a “buffer zone” surrounding the colony. The buffer zone was later used for further colonial expansion.
Yet, despite all of these measures and land grab policies, Israeli colonists do not hesitate to attack Palestinian farmers at will to the degree of opening fire at them for merely being present in their lands. Case in point is the killing of the 19-year-olds Salah Qawareiq and Mohammad Faisal Qawareeq near the colony of Itamar on April 26th, 2010, while pruning their olive trees. However, Israeli occupation forces claimed that the two martyrs tried to stab one of the soldiers who managed to escape the attempt and killing both “assailants.” Palestinian sources, on the other hand, indicated that the two martyrs were working on their land while carrying agricultural tools and pesticides when they were fired.
It has to be pointed out that the colony of Itamar has witnessed the killing of 5 colonists by unknowns on March 12, 2011. Yet, the colonists took this chance to pin the responsibility of the killing on the Palestinians despite the lack of any evidence. As such, a wave of attacks by the colonists throughout of the West Bank against the Palestinian population and their property was waged. Such attacks included breaking the windshields of cars, attempting to burn houses and attacking pedestrians. Even olive trees were not spared as more than 700 small olive trees were uprooted and stolen last week in the village of Beit Dajan and the town of Aqraba.
As for the village of Awerta, it received the lion’s share of colonists’ attacks under the protection of the Israeli occupation forces which aided the colonists through imposing curfew for a period of 5 days and the arrest of 43 youth while preventing ambulances from transporting humanitarian cases. Elderly Palestinians were also beaten in front of their kids while students were not allowed to go to school. 
In parallel to this wave of attacks, Israeli colonists from Itamar began expanding their area of control as they added additional caravans in the location of Al ‘Arma west of the colony on an area of 15 dunums of Awertas’ lands as to accommodate additional colonists in the near future.

Categories: Settlers Attacks